I like to believe that I’m invincible when it comes to all things physical, mental, and emotional, despite the numerous times this delusion has been proven false. Humbling reminders of my mortality that snap me back into focus often come in the form of some inconvenient mini-breakdown of health or spirit that force me to stop, reset, and reevaluate why I’m really doing what I’m doing, and why it’s good to be a human with limits. Just as one trains the mind in meditation practice to constantly come back to the present, I’m reminding my Slinky self to come back from the edge, each time letting myself stay a bit closer to the center. (Noteworthy, perhaps, is how I had a tendency to terribly warp my Slinky toys as a kid, letting them bounce and stretch all around until the coils were twisted and bent out of shape.)
Knowing this about myself, I wasn’t too surprised when a few weeks ago I came down—hard—with a bad cold. I was just sitting at my desk, minding my own business, when my throat started to burn. By nighttime, I had mucus-filled nasal cavity that set me back two boxes of tissues in about two days, dry eyes, the works. My immune system had been stretched to that long Slinky stage from lack of sleep and overwork and, combined with a drastic change in the weather, this cold snapped me back into self-care mode stat. Rest, however, does not always come easy even to the sick and weary, which made me even more thankful for nature’s answer to run-down non-invincible humans like myself: Elderberry.
Used by the ancient Greeks and Egyptians, Elderberry is a well known antiviral herb that beats all the signs of seasonal ailments like cold and flu, everything from inflammation and soreness to sinus infections, and has been proven to reduce the duration of these illnesses by on average two days. In addition to treating these symptoms, it also helps to boost immune function overall with antioxidants, the concentration of which is higher than superberries like goji. Elderberry has also been used as a diuretic and laxative, to lower blood sugar, and even as an anti-carcinogen.
The delicious and easy-to-take, organic Elderberry Crystals from Flora Health (also available for kids) made incorporating this supplement into my routine extremely effective. Just a few scoops of the dark purple powder dissolved in my morning hot water with lemon gave me relief within a day. The crystals have the rich, fruity taste of dark berries, so drinking them straight was not only tolerable but downright enjoyable as a break from my usual tea. I experimented as well with mixing the powder into my almond yogurt in the morning; topped with (more) berries, a teaspoon of lucuma powder (another immune boost), and a sprinkle of Clean Clumpy Granola, this breakfast was a flavonoid spectacular (not to mention super pretty, maybe even at the Mermaid Toast level…).
Within five days, the cold symptoms that had been plaguing me for a week prior to taking Elderberry were completely gone. Breathing easy and with a new spring in my step, I realized how lucky we mortals are for the gifts that nature gives us, especially this time of year. We’re designed to break down–and to be able to build ourselves back up when we allow ourselves to receive help. So when holiday chaos gives you that Slinky feeling, look no further than the plant world around you for the boost you need to be your jolliest self.
Have you tried elderberry crystals to boost your immunity?
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Photos: Wikipedia.org; Jennifer Kurdyla
- sponsored by Flora Health. Thank you for supporting PD! 😀